Monday Monthly Mission # 13

July 5th, 2010 - filed under: Furthermore » Monday Monthly Mission

On the first Monday of every month, we take on a ‘mission’ – a shift or habit or inspiration – to work on together. There’s strength (and support) in numbers! On the last Thursday of the month, we reconvene to see how far we’ve come.


Lucky number 13! But this mission isn’t about luck, good or bad. Quite the opposite in fact – it’s about karma.

Before we jump into all that, just a reminder that last month’s wrap-up is here. I’d really love to hear from all of you, as I’ve been keeping you in my thoughts as you’ve worked this mission and now I’m curious to hear about it! So please please, hop on over and let me know how you did (even if it was less than stellar – that’s okay too!)

So now for this month’s mission! Last month was bad habits (boo), and this month we round it out with good deeds (yay!) Because it’s so easy to get caught up in the flurry of life, to focus only on the future. You just get swept away in your schedule, never really pausing to look around at the *now*, never really snapping into the present. This is a concept we addressed in relation to our bad habits last month, and it’s an idea you’ll see me explore in my work throughout this site. Because it’s really, really important.

I know that for me, if I don’t check in with myself I can easily get so stuck in a ‘forward moving’ mindset. Just put my head down and plow forward with “gotta get this done, then gotta get this done, then gotta . . . “. But that’s no way to live a life! And not only will it keep us from dealing with our demons, but it also keeps us from . . . noticing that the person in front of us couldn’t pay for their coffee . . . or that the old man who we just passed gave the most genuine smile . . . or that the mom wrestling two kids and 3 bags of groceries could probably use a hand . . . or that the homeless guy really does look hungry . . .

And that’s all I’m asking you to do. To wake up, look around, and find something kind to do for a stranger. Maybe, once a week? Or more if you’d like. It could be anything, from buying a kid a cookie to helping a little old lady across the street. Just do something nice, and pay attention to how it feels.

***extra credit for over-achievers: try making a smile your ‘default face’. When you’re standing in line or walking to work or talking to a cashier, slap on a big grin, look people in the eyes and really smile at them, and man . . . just watch what happens!***

So whether you believe in karma or not, whether you believe that God punishes you or that the Universe will provide for you, well . . . when it comes down to it, it doesn’t really matter! The fact is that doing a good deed makes the world a better place. And that, my friends, is all we can hope to accomplish.

So, Pay It Forward once each week in July. You in? Do you accept this mission?

Special thanks to Heather who’s idea inspired this mission.

  • Carolyn

    I love it. I am going through a particularly tough time in my life, and it seems that this is just the mission I need. Reminding myself to look outside of my own somewhat mundane issues and see those around me who could use a little something.

    I’m in.

  • Ashley Ladd

    Awesome! I love this mission. It’s going to be a
    good, scratch that, great month. ;}

  • Courtney

    I love this idea! I’ve been trying to be nicer when it comes to driving lately, aka letting people in when I can.
    I love your extra credit. I used to work in fast food, so whenever I go to the drive-thru and they ask how I’m doing I reply with “I’m doing good, how are you?” I’ve caught quite a few off guard. It’s fun. I’m totally in on this MMM!

  • Valerie

    Great idea! I hope spending this month looking for opportunities to be kind to my fellow humans will create a life-long habit!

  • Melisa

    This is AWESOME! Love it! I’m definitely guilty of just plowing through, but even challenging days are better if you can occasionally remember to be in the moment. I remember hearing a long time ago that smiling can really uplift your mood–it doesn’t have to work the other way around. And it is TRUE. A few months ago, inspired by this:, I bought a $5 Starbucks gift card (I know, ‘Boo, Starbucks!’, but there happens to be one in our Kroger store.) and carried it around until I met a stranger who could use a smile–this guy working at Big Lots who gave an honest, exhausted answer when I asked how he was doing. So easy (total cost: uh, $5) but it completely broke up the usual, auto-pilot way of interacting.

  • erosan

    Wow! this MMM is so… Utopic: Do a good deed, make the world a better place. 3 words: COUNT ME IN!

    I actually believe one person can make a difference (dunno if a huge difference, but a difference nonetheless). Maintaining the status quo won’t do any good anyways…

    I don’t think I’ll be able to pull the extra credits tho… stupid people makes me angry and there are a lot of them out there. Doesn’t mean I won’t try… afterall, “smile! it confuses people” so it should prove fun to try at least.

  • Kathryn


  • Catt

    Unfortunately, I already do this – I have a compulsion to be nice, all the time! It gets me in a lot of trouble sometimes…But I 100% believe in karma.

    A few weeks ago, a man dropped a £10 note on the way into an ice cream shop I was in – the cashier picked it up and asked if it was mine – I said no, and told her whose it was. When the man left, he gave me £5 back to say thank you, and later in the day, I found another £5 on the floor – what better proof is there?

    So I’ll be doing the extra credit assignment.

    Great idea!

  • Maureen Thomson

    I choose to accept this mission. I am such a plower. In fact, I’m pretty sure next to plower in the dictionary, there is a picture of me. In the next six weeks, I’m moving to Portland, it’s the busiest time for my business, daughter is having a baby and I have a 2-week trip planned. Plow central! This mission is way overdue. Thanks, Sayward (and Heather) for coming up with it.

  • saundra

    great mission! i always try to do my best to be nice to people but alot of times i don’t always have a smileon my face because i’m fuming about something i did wrong or etc. so smile plastered… now
    as for helping people i try to help all that i can although being a stay at home mom of two doesn’t give me many oppertunities, the way i try to help people the most is through my ministry and letting them know that although things are bad now it won’t always be that way.
    so long story short love this mission.

  • Squiggle

    Hey Sayward,
    I am totally digging this MMM! I’m usually a positive and bubbly person but life has been a bit crazy recently so I’ve been a bit out of sorts; what better way to cheer up than by making others happy?!

    On a related note I have found this website which has a fantastic ethos and is really appropriate to this mission, so I’m going to incorporate that into my months efforts as well!

    Live good!
    Peace out, B x

  • Sayward

    I’m so looking forward to hearing all the stories of how this mission plays out for everyone. It’s going to be such a love fest! =D

    You guys are awesome, thanks for your enthusiasm. We really can make the world a sweeter place to be!

  • Shaina

    Hi there! I am a regular browser of this blog and LOVE all of your MMMs. I’ve been going through a bit of a rough patch and am trying to focus all of my attentions this summer on really getting to know myself and learning to love myself fully.

    Therefore, this is a PERFECT way to start off. Can’t wait :D

  • Sayward

    @ Shaina – Yay, welcome! Good luck with the mission, can’t wait to hear about it!

  • farmingtheburbs

    I am on board!

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